Warning Signs Missed Ahead Of Governor's Assassination

by
staphni
"(CNN)
A security guard accused of assassinating the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province was banned five months ago by a provincial police official from providing security detail to VIP personnel, authorities said Wednesday.

The director inspector general of Punjab Police labeled the guard as having extremist views and determined it was unsafe for him to guard important officials, the Pakistani president's Special Political Adviser Faisal Raza Abidi told CNN.

Despite the assessment, the Punjab Police employed Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri for security this week.

He is accused of killing Gov. Salman Taseer on Tuesday, apparently because the governor spoke out against the country's controversial blasphemy law. Taseer was buried on Wednesday. He had been governor of Punjab province since May 2008.

The warning signs go back even further, said Rana Shahid Pervez, senior police official in Rawalpindi. Pakistani Intelligence agencies warned officials in 2004 not to use Qadri after they uncovered connections between him and the religious group Dawat e Islami -- a Sunni group that claims it has a closer connection to the Prophet Mohammed than other Muslims.

Pervez said Qadri came from an area of Rawalpindi called Sadiq Abad, adjacent to the capital of Islamabad. He came from a poor family and his father is a common laborer who built homes.

Qadri joined the police force in 2002, and he was selected for the ""elite force course"" in 2008, four years after the warning from intelligence agencies, Pervez said.

Qadri was one of 468 elite force guards in the Rawalpindi Police, which randomly assigns them as escorts to VIPs and officials like Taseer.

Qadri was assigned to the governor on Tuesday and had been his security guard many times before the shooting, according to Pervez, who disputed the link to Dawat e Islami."